What a truly bizarre situation, so many different things happening at the same time.
WTF, not exactly being subtle are they? Trying to sneak something onto the field when a zip/button etc is far easier to explain away.
The media conference
It was bizarre, half a confession, half a case for the defence.
Calling a news conference on the face of it seems like the honest thing to do, nip the entire process in the bud before you lose control of the situation. But what we ended up with lead to more questions than answers, who was is this leadership group, why in this innings and why Bancroft?
And does anyone really believe what Smith said? This is the first time they have done this (there was very early reverse swing in both the PE and Durban test matches and questions were raised about Warner’s bandaged hands on both occasions?
Sticky tape with some dirt on it? I am imagining something like yellow electrical tape. There is no way that you would achieve anything using electrical tape (or similar) to rough up the ball.
Lehman didn’t know anything? That is plainly not true. It is pretty clear that Hanscombe was sent out there to warn shortly after getting signal from Lehman. I don’t think anyone is buying that. So if Smith is throwing the “leadership group” under the bus, why explicitly exclude Lehman?
Why call the news conference at all. No one expecting them to confess straight off the bat, why not just give a written statement where you are at least protected from making an ass of yourself and having paper thin lies uncovered so easily.
The reaction from back home
Wow. The prime minister coming out to comment, calls for Smith’s immediate and permanent sacking, it is all a little over the top.
People are saying that the Aussie team has undermined the trust that has been placed in them and sullied the image of the baggy greens forever.
You have to have a combination of a very short memory and a very blinkered view of the Australian cricket team to think they were unsullied before this incident. I guess it goes back to that famous “line”, but when one of your proudest sons were done for drugs and inappropriate contact with bookies, you can hardly make out as if this is an unprecedented insult to cricketing institution that is the Baggy Greens.
I am just really struggling to understand vitriol that is being directed at the team. They cheated, they got caught, it is embarrassing, but fuck’in hell, the sun is going to come up tomorrow and little Johnny down by the oval is still going to want to play for Australia.
WTF is the ICC doing
So when the umpires got the report from the third umpire/match referee I was expecting them to change the ball and award five penalty runs. When they didn’t, I thought, well they didn’t see the evidence, but surely after tea…
Ok maybe not after tea, but after the overnight confession surely they will do something…
In the end it didn’t matter, South Africa won by 300-odd and all was good in the world, but imagine Starc bowled a great spell and blasted out the lower order with a ball that Australia at least attempted to tamper with, what would have happened then?
Then we hear that Bancroft has been found guilty of a level two offence and have been awarded three demerit points. What the ICC is saying is that in their opinion his actions are just culpable as Rabada’s should rub/barge from Port Elizabeth. Really, do we really think those two actions are in the same league?
But it doesn’t really matter, because we all know that Cricket Australia will take sterner action against these miscreants.
That may or may not be the case, but shiver to think what the response would have been if you replace Bancroft with Rahane and Cricket Australia with the BCCI. The internet would have exploded.